Mamatography Week 13 – Month of the Military Child (and projects galore!)

My week started out with a determination to start AND finish a chair re-uppholstery/refinishing project for our four dining room chairs. As you can see, I bought these really nice (but used and scratched/nicked) chairs. I paid $40 for all of them, and set out to make them my own!

IMG_2016Joseph was eager to help! Very hands on, this child!


Watch out, screws! Joe is going to get you!!!!! LOL


We had a couple days of sibling rivalry over the new Tag Reader books. You know you have a preschooler and a toddler when:

you are constantly taping the pages of tag reader books back together.


But they sure do LOVE one another. They love to dance together – Abbey says “Joseph would you like to be the Prince, and we’ll dance!” So cute.


This week I also made my own kolaches. So delicious!



Some more dancing cuteness from the Silly Bears. . .


And whoo hoo! The finished chair re-appholstery/refinishing project!

Finished ChairI love the way they came out. What do you think?


On Friday morning, Abbey’s class had a parade on the Shipyard to celebrate the Month of the Military Child. We picked up daddy for a special break from work to watch Abbey march in her parade.

IMG_2084What are our favorite colors, Rainbow Friends?

“Red, White, and Blue! RED, WHITE, and BLUE!”

That was OUR week. How was YOURS?

mtbadge2This post is part of the Mamatography 2013 Project with Diary of a First Child and Momma Jorje.

We are taking (at least) a photo a day to keep a record of our year. Join us at any point during the year and start sharing your own daily photos!

Sewing Leotards. . . a new challenge!


Ah, today I ran into Dana’s Tutorial at MADE for sewing your own leotards. Oh my goodness, so PERFECT for my fear of doing so. She made it totally easy to understand. I’m definitely going to have to try this for Abs to make her some beautiful mama-made leos for the dance class she wants to take this spring and for Gymnastics, once we get settled after our move to . . . .

Yep, we found out where our next PCS (Permanent Change of Station) is taking us.

If you are a friend on facebook, you already know, but I’ll be writing about it soon here on the blog.

It’s exciting.

Stay tuned! And try your hand at making leos for your little one and let me know how it goes!

Mamatography Week 5

Lively Garden and SS WM

I have been sewing like mad this week. These fun and vibrant fleece pocket diapers (with snap down rise to make them one-size, fitting NB to Toddler!) have been, like, my life recently. I’m either cutting, sewing, or embroidering them this week. I’m stocking my Silly Bear Handmade shop with fleece pocket diapers and Hybrid Fitteds this Friday!

Shark Diaper WM

For the first 24 hours after I stock the shop, ALL diapers are $10 (Yep! you heard me right! $10). . . so, head on over on Friday and grab a diaper for more than 50% off!!!! You won’t regret it! :)

Joe at Desk WM

Joseph has been very focused lately, furthering his fine motor skills.

Sewing WM

And like I said, I’ve been sewing like a madwoman this week. But I haven’t JUST been sewing diapers. . .

Snow White Sewing WM

Abbey requested a Snow White dress for her dress up collection, and her wish became a reality this week!

Multitasking WM

I snapped this pic of me multitasking in order to finish her dress before I picked her up from preschool.

Snow White Dress WM

She was super pleased!

Abbey WM

We had a fun week here, although we’re all hoping that it will warm up just a FEW degrees so we can enjoy playing at the park again soon! It’s been wavering between 22′ and 29′ this week. . . with a crazy wind chill.

Abbey and Joe Smily Faces WM


That was OUR week. How was YOURS?

mtbadge2This post is part of the Mamatography 2013 Project with Diary of a First Child and Momma Jorje.

We are taking (at least) a photo a day to keep a record of our year. Join us at any point during the year and start sharing your own daily photos!

Creating for the Family: Crafty Mama Monday

I have been a busy volunteer-Ombudsman, full-time-student mama lately. . . and crafty mama has not disappeared, but she’s been slowed down a bit.

Projects have gone on the back burner. Only the really vital projects that I’m creating for my family lately have actually gotten done. And I have a growing short-list of Silly Bear Handmade custom orders from friends. Plus baby and big sister/big brother gifts that I made for my family members that I have neglected to ship. Whoops!

I have, however, still been making progress at being crafty!

Here’s what I have been up to lately.

Knitted Wristwarmers

I have been enjoying knitting these wristwarmers (aka fingerless gloves) for about a month now, and they are finally finished! I started and ripped out the project three or four times before I chose a pattern that I loved and made the correct alterations to it to make it work for me.

I ended up using the Fetching knitting pattern to make these wrist warmers, and I added a few inches to the cabling portion to extend the length of them. I have long arms and none of my coats hit my wrist where they should. This used to not matter when I lived in Texas, but now that I am a transplanted New Englander, it matters so much! Cold wrists and blustery wind going up your coat sleeves . . . yikes! Not ok!

Next, I’m planning on knitting a coordinating hat for the winter ahead, using the same yarn that I used for the wristwarmers. Now, I am knitting a coordinating slouchy cabled hat. More on that in my next Crafty Mama Monday.

I’m also planning on knitting the Silly Bears and nieces and nephews some wool gloves using the Easily Adjustable Knitted Glove Pattern from They Are All Of Me.

But for now, $1 mittens from the Joann’s dollar section work just fine.


Night Time Diapers

This summer, I ordered some Maiden Mills Windpro fleece from a destash album on Facebook, with the intention of finally taking the advice of my fellow diaper sewers and making Joseph a FLEECE night time diaper instead of one waterproofed by PUL or using wool at night (neither of which were working for us).


The diapers I made work fabulously through the night, and I fully intend to make more and list them for sale in my Silly Bear Handmade shop. (Stocking is coming SOON and there will be a $10 diaper sale for the first 24 hours. . . so watch the SBH Facebook Page for sneak peeks and updates!)

Joseph used to wake up smelling like ammonia and having wet PJs and a red butt from contact with all the pee during the night. The fleece night time diapers I created for him eliminate these problems. It’s so wonderful!


I am in the process of writing a photo tutorial on how I made these fleece night time pocket diapers, so that those of you who would like to sew one for a Silly Bear in your life can do so with ease and enjoy the benefits.

They are wonderful! It’s one of those “why didn’t I do this sooner!?” moments. You can view a detailed description and all the photos of the diaper here –> Introducing the Silly Bear Handmade Night Time Fleece Pocket Diaper!!!!!!

I am so thrilled that I finally have a diaper that hands down works for nights. Wish I could have sewn it sooner!

Bedroom Curtains

Back in the summer, I made blackout curtains for Abbey and Joseph’s room, and wrote a photo tutorial to teach you how to make them yourself.

A dear friend asked me to help her with curtains for her 7-year-old’s room. She couldn’t find anything in the stores that thrilled her, so she gave me the free reign to come up with what I could to please her daughter’s taste and coordinate with the quilt that she had. She didn’t need black out curtains, so I sewed some simple cotton curtains for her that her daughter loves!

What have YOU been creating for YOUR family recently? 

Is there anything you have been eye-ing or keeping on a Pinterest page that you’d love to create, but you’re slightly timid to try? 

I’d love to connect with you about sewing, knitting, and creating for the family. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


The Best of Babywearing!

I am proud and honored to be a volunteer with the Natural Parents Network (NPN), a community of natural-minded parents and parents-to-be where you will be informed, empowered, and inspired.

When you visit the NPN’s website you can find articles and posts about Activism, Balance, Consistent Care, Ecological Responsibility, Family Safety, Feeding With Love, Gentle Discipline, Healthy Living, Holistic Health, Natural Learning, Nurturing Touch, Parenting Philosophies, Practical Home Help, Preparing for Parenting, Responding With Sensitivity, Safe Sleep, and so much more!

Today I would like to share some bookmark-worthy posts that highlight all aspects of babywearing. These posts were featured on the personal blogs of the Natural Parents Network volunteers and are some of my favorites.

We hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as we enjoyed writing them. We are always looking for new volunteers so please, contact us if you are interested. Just a few hours per month can help other mamas in a huge way!

Benefits of Babywearing/Reasons To Babywear

Types of Carriers/ Choosing A Carrier

Babywearing Safety

Babywearing How-Tos

BabywearingToddlers/More Than One Child

Personal Babywearing Stories and/or Photos

Babywearing Series/Multiple Topics

Babywearing – Other Interesting Topics

A special thank you to Erika Hastings of the blog Mud Spice for creating and sharing her babywearing art with the world!

Mamatography August Week 4


“Whoooooooooooo” says Joe! He just totally loves swinging!

This week, as always, we spent lots of time at the park by our house with our neighbor friends.

Abbey and Joseph LOVE asking me to underdog swing them. “Run and then get through!!!!!” Abbey shouts.

Joseph, Abbey, and Hubs watched football this weekend. . .


Joe wouldn’t even give me a “Cheese!” he was so enthralled with the game.

Here’s a “Cheese!” picture for you. Joseph is now 16 months old and he is getting so big.

He is such a ham, and his happy, silly, and stubborn faces are exactly like Hubs’. It’s hilarious. Abbey and Joe have been enjoying coloring together. Love those two Silly Bears!!!!

Two peas in a pod!

New Hybrid Fitted Diapers. LOVE the stretch and absorbency of the HFs!

And Joe has been giving them a thorough testing!

Earlier in the week, I sewed up some new diapers. . . and then subsequently ran completely out of bamboo velour.

I’ll just have to order some more next week, and sew something different for a few days. Like this organic cotton and bamboo fleece baby blanket I made for my new niece OR nephew due soon!

I can’t wait to get back to sewing diapers, though. I’m really loving the hybrid fitteds, and I hope to be doing my first REAL stocking on the Silly Bear Handmade Etsy Shop soon!

That was OUR Week. How was YOURS!?

Mamatography – August 2012 Week 2

This post is part of Mamatography 2012, a project hosted by Diary of a First Child. The goal is to document the entire year of 2012 in photos. Paired with my participation in fellow Coast Guard Wife Courtney Kirkland‘s photography tutorials and projects, I am definitely learning more about my camera, my photos, & my kids, and I’ll have plenty of great photos to document 2012. Please visit the links at the bottom of my post to see other Mamatography posts! And if you are participating in Mamatography, click on over to the BLOG HOP going on at Diary of a First Child and join in!

           This past Monday, we enjoyed some time at the beach after my Co-Ombudsman and I facilitated the TAHOMA Morale Picnic at a local state park. Joseph and Abbey really enjoyed exploring the beach – Joseph and I played together, throwing rocks in the water and watching and listening to them *PLOP* and Abbey and daddy went on an exploration of the rocks and boulders.

We also spent plenty of time at our regular park beside our housing unit.

But. . . back to the BEACH: I can’t believe we spent as long there as we did, especially after a long day at the TAHOMA Picnic. I was exhausted after helping the Morale officer run the event, so to have relaxing time at the beach was so refreshing!

We ALL had a great time, including Raven! She was SO happy!

This week otherwise was pretty eventless – just a normal week in the Willa house! I made my “Veggieful” Spaghetti Sauce again for dinner and it was a HIT (as always). It’s amazing what FRESH ingredients can do for a meal! I love the picture I snapped of Joe after stuffing his face with Veggieful spaghetti. He is getting so big and his mannerisms are so wonderfully hilarious!

I spent most of my non-mothering (erm. . . nap and bed times) sewing.

I finished Abbey’s blackout curtains and documented my process and pattern for a tutorial. I was very pleased with how her curtains turned out! Picture next week!

I also sewed up an embroidered fairy diaper for a neighbor’s little girl. I’m making my final adjustments for a NEW Silly Bear Handmade pocket diaper – and the testers will be open for purchase via my Etsy shop at the end of the month. The new pocket diapers feature a front and back flap opening so that the soaker insert will agitate out in the wash (no need to pull out icky inserts pre-wash!) They will be available in sized (NB-XL) increments and OS (one-size) variations, and the soakers are super absorbent and quick dry. 

I love my AIO (all-in-one) diapers with a sewn in soaker for the convenience of not having to stuff inserts, but these pockets dry so much faster and absorb so well. My beautiful diaper model London went 6 hours in this fairy embroidered pocket diaper and pooped in it without wicking or leaks. I was so happy when her mom reported an excellent review (with a couple suggestions to help the pattern fit chunky babes more comfortably). 



That was our week. . . . how was YOURS?

Are you up for a challenge? One that will take something from you every day, but give a whole lot back too? How about joining me for the photography challenge in 2012 then? A photo a day of whatever your day involved. You can jump in any time through the year! If you’d still like to join us, you can start at any time, just sign up here and our host will email you further information.

Without further ado, here is the current list of all participants for Mamatography 2012 so far!


Wordless Wednesday – US ARMY Tribute Diaper

Sharing on this wordless wednesday the US Army Tribute Diaper that I made as a custom order for a customer last week.

Crafty Mama Monday

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Crafty Mama update!

Recently, I have been in a bit of a sewing rut, with my sewing machine in the repair shop, and the part that’s needed BACKORDERED for 6-8 weeks. . . the repair shop finally offered me a loaner machine, so I’ve been catching up on sewing projects that have been sitting around for a while, cut out but not sewn up.
To the left, you can see my growing pile of cloth napkins from scrap fabric. This has been an on-going project, and I’m planning on sewing napkins and un-paper towels for my Silly Bear Handmade shop after I finish the ones for our house. 
I’ve also finished the “subway art” project that I started back a few months ago. 
I decided to go with the “paint over” method after all. . . but I didn’t want to lose the pretty background that I had painstakingly created – so I decided to go with a slightly transparent cover layer, and I think it actually turned out pretty cool. I like the fact that it’s not super easy to read. What do you think?
I finally made a Toadstool Baby Rattle, but I knitted it with larger needles and yarn that I had in my stash, so it is one big rattle! I plan on making some more soon, though. They are super cute and fun to knit! Joseph loves his.  
I’m also still in the process of knitting and sewing up beanbags for my niece and nephew in Texas. . . this was supposed to be a Christmas present (ha!) so I really do want to get that finished as soon as possible.
And of course, I’m still sewing diapers. 
Right now, I am working on AIO (all in one) versions of my pattern, which so far are turning out great and working really well. I’m also learning to use Lastin clear elastic. It’s wonderful because it’s really stretchy and makes fora  good fit and it’s resistant to pee so it won’t wear out over time in a diaper. BUT it has a learning curve for sure. You can’t just do the easy-peasy tack and topstitch a casing with Lastin. More on that later!
Do you have any Crafty projects going on right now?

Do you need some inspiration or moral support to start a project that you’ve been wanting to try?

Cloth Number Cards: NPN Guest Post

Today I am honored to once again be published on Natural Parent’s Network. Words cannot express the love and thankfulness I feel toward NPN – It’s an amazingly informative and inclusive group of conscious parents, sharing information and empowerment – and I feel so blessed to be a contributing author to the site. 

Today, my published post is on a simple, wonderful, fun DIY natural learning plaything: Cloth Number Cards. We received a set from my sister-in-law this past Christmas, and Abbey and Joseph LOVE them. They are super simple to make. All you need to be able to do it sew a straight stitch (by hand or by machine) and use an iron. Well, I guess scissor skills are a must, too ;)
A tutorial is available at the post on NPN. Check it out and enjoy a simple, easy natural learning plaything with your little ones!